Enriching Students Smart Grid Experience Using Programmable Devices

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1 Enriching Students Smart Grid Experience Using Devices Mihaela Radu, Ph.D. Assist. Prof. Electrical & Computer Engineering Technology Department Public Seminar Coordinator, Renewable Energy and Sustainability Center Farmingdale State College Chair of WIE Affinity Group IEEE Long Island Marjaneh Issapour, P.E., CCNA Professor Electrical Engineering & Computer Engineering Technology Director, Renewable Energy and Sustainability Center Farmingdale State College Chair of the Educational Activities committee of IEEE Long Island Section

2 Devices Motivation (arguments) for this presentation: Smart grid and programmable devices Ethical and social aspects of engineering The engineer of Universities - Improving Design Experience for undergraduate students by creating new avenues Project Based Learning Design Competitions: regional, national. Current and future efforts in the EET department to attract students to develop Smart Grid related projects using programmable devices Conclusions/Discussions

3 Once seen as technologies only available to engineers with a deep understanding of digital system design, the dramatic advancements in the capabilities and levels of integration of these technologies are changing the rules of development for smart grid applications. As the capabilities and levels of integration of FPGAs have increased, several smart grid applications have incorporated an FPGA or an SoC to implement all of these blocks, affording better flexibility, reliability, maintainability, and cost. IESC 2014 Smart grid and programmable devices Smart grid generally refers to a class of technology people are using to bring utility electricity delivery systems into the 21st century, using computer-based remote control and automation. They offer many benefits to utilities and consumers -- mostly seen in big improvements in energy efficiency on the electricity grid and in the energy users homes and offices [ Over the last decades,the idea of a smart grid has taken center stage an evolution of advanced technologies that make the availability of a smarter, more efficient electrical power grid possible. At the heart of these advanced devices for the smart grid lies the powerful technology of the Field Gate Arrays (FPGA) and SoC(System on Chip).

4 Ethical and social aspects of engineering In one of her presentation at ASEE conference, Leah H. Jamieson, Past President of IEEE, presented data about the public perceptions of engineering which showed that engineering is viewed as a profession that creates economic growth but is not sensitive to social, environmental, and quality of life issues. While the data did not show a negative public perception, Jamieson presented irrefutable data that the public did not view engineering as a profession that was going to make a difference.

5 Ethical and social aspects of engineering There is extensive literature on the perception of the engineering discipline in general. Typically, elementary school children perceive engineers as people who fix things like auto mechanics, drive trains or build or test or work on equipment. Once again the students perceive engineering as an impersonal, objective discipline with no real relationship to society. In order to attract the next generation of high school graduates to engineering, it is necessary to portray the excitement, satisfaction and reward of engineering. Many of this generation want to make the world a better place but may not perceive that they can do this with engineering. This means in order to recruit them it is necessary to educate them on the social relevance of engineering. To recruit and keep students to engineering you must reconnect it to the community and state how technology enriches lives.

6 The Engineer of 2020 With the publication of The Engineer of 2020: Visions of engineering in the New Century, The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Committee on Engineering Education (CEE) aimed to identify the opportunities and challenges for the 21th century, anticipating and shaping the future practice of engineering, the characteristics of the engineering workforce and their education. To enhance the nation s economic productivity and improve the quality of life worldwide, engineering education in the United States must anticipate and adapt to the dramatic changes of engineering practice. Engineering schools should attract the best and brightest students and be open to new teaching and training approaches.

7 The Engineer of 2020 Trends that are likely to redefine the boundaries of engineering and the composition of engineering forces: A global population approaching 10 billion with a steadily aging demographic and a growing demand for diversity for diversity in engineering force An imperative for sustainability in the face of global population growth, industrialization, urbanization, and environmental growth. The growing concerns about the social and political implications of rapid technological advances Increasing opportunities for incorporating technology into the education and work life of engineer

8 Universities Improving the design component in the undergraduate engineering education is a concern for educators, professional societies, industrial employers and agencies concerned with national productivity and competitiveness Design experience develops the students lifelong learning skills, self-evaluations, self-discovery, and peer instruction in the design s creation, critique, and justification. Students design projects at all levels are increasingly focused on the renewable energy sources and systems, smart grid due to the increased emphasis in the U.S. on clean energy innovation, generation, manufacturing, and commercialization.

9 Universities Incorporate projects (Project Based Learning) at different levels in the undergraduate education, developing: Creativity and the spirit of innovation Critical skills Problem solving -Entire curriculum based on PBL -Project Design Competition (from the course level to regional and national level), -Senior Design Projects, Capstone projects

10 Current and future efforts in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology Department to attract undergraduate (and possible future graduate) students to develop Smart Grid related projects using programmable logic devices (FPGA, microcontrollers, ), as part of their research experience, project based learning, senior design projects, and/or participation in Design competition.

11 Steps (Tasks): Acquiring state-of-the art equipment and CAD tools to develop these projects, seeking industry donations (Digilent, Xilinx etc.) and funding opportunities from NSF and other national agencies Developing a list of potential projects in the areas of Smart Grid; Energy Smart House System, Monitor Small Wind Turbines, etc.. Contacting local industry representatives for possible Smart Grid projects

12 Restructuring the digital design and microcontrollers/microprocessors sequence of courses to offer students the necessary knowledge, skills and tools to develop these projects

13 Attending and organizing Workshops dedicated to FPGA and Microcontrollers (sponsored by NSF)

14 Giving students more opportunities to develop practical applications ( take at home laboratory, based on platform-pc based equipment); sponsored by a title III grant project: Developing Hands-On Experiments to Improve Students Learning via Activities outside the Classroom

15

16 Enrolling students in National and Global Competition (Diligent Design Competition) Encouraging students to select Smart Grid projects for the Digilent Design Competition and/or Senior Project Recruiting motivated students for these activities in their first or second year in college

17 Plans for the future Use the projects to develop experimental modules for K-12 STEM education and demonstration, summer camps for students and instructors, exhibitions, public awareness.. etc.

18 Conclusions Discussions

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